Spanish online cosmetics retail company Fancybox is expanding into Latin America with the takeover of Nina’s Box, Guía Vulevú and Hello-Kitchen.

All three companies share the same founder, French entrepreneur and Start-Up Chile alumnus Anne-Sophie Dutat, which we once listed as one of the eight “gringas” you should know in Latin America.

This acquisition makes Fancybox the only regional player in Latin America’s beauty ‘tryvertising’ space – a concept that lets female consumers test cosmetic samples on a monthly subscription basis, delivered in a ‘beauty box.’

As a matter of fact, Nina’s Box already offered a similar service in Chile, where it will now be known as Fancybox Chile, while Fancybox itself had launched operations in Argentina earlier this year. In addition to these new countries, Fancybox now plans to expand to three new Spanish-speaking markets by the end of the year.

Besides Nina’s Box, Fancybox will also integrate Guía Vulevú, a three-year-old women-oriented luxury city guide that already operates in Santiago de Chile, São  Paulo, Buenos Aires and Mendoza, boasting a combined 50,000 subscriber database.

Anne Sophie Dutat Fancybox acquires Chilean counterpart Ninas Box to expand across Latin AmericaAs for Anne-Sophie Dutat, she is joining the group as Fancybox LATAM’s co-founder, and as a shareholder in its parent company. She will also act as the company’s country manager for Chile, and as its regional head of business development, publishing and new media.

Fancybox’s two-fold model

Dutat’s new job title is not an accident, and reflects the fact that Fancybox position itself in two markets – the beauty e-commerce segment of course, but also the digital media space, its co-founder and CEO Marc Sorli explains:

“Anne-Sophie’s integration has been an important milestone for Fancybox’s growth. Not only does it bring a series of assets that open new ways to reach our target and develop a new business line in digital media, but it also adds up the know-how of a first class entrepreneur. With her on board, the company’s growth will reach the speed and solidity it needs to position itself as the region’s leader.”

Fancybox was created by Sorli in partnership with the Barcelona-based digital incubator BeFactory. It currently has operations in Spain, Argentina and Chile and a staff of 19. The company will now be co-run by Dutat, BeFactory and Sorli, who will head its Latin American operations from Buenos Aires.

A booming segment

This isn’t the first time a beauty sampling company acquires its foreign equivalent to expand; as we reported, the US-based Birchbox recently acquired its Paris-based counterpart JolieBox, with plans to expand internationally.
FancyBox2012 220x154 Fancybox acquires Chilean counterpart Ninas Box to expand across Latin America

There’s no doubt that this space is heating up all around the world, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see new mergers and acquisitions in Latin America as well. In Chile only, at least four other companies are competing for attention: Glimbox, Glamourbox, Glossybox and Mybeautybox.

In this context, Fancybox hopes to take the lead by thinking beyond borders and targeting the Spanish-speaking world as a whole. It also hopes to keep on building on its early local traction, having sold over 2,500 boxes and partnered with 30 brands so far.

Image credit: Pond5